Saturday, December 31, 2011

Is it weird?

... That when I look up at a monitor in a bar or a restaurant, that I prefer the football people with big bellies? Is that odd?

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Rarely has pulling a lever for a presidential candidate been an undiluted pleasure for me, but...

...if current trends continue, I don't see any candidate I could vote for without the bile rising in my gorge. I think I'll be writing in my preference in November.

*le sigh*

Friday, December 30, 2011

Hungry Ghosts

This lovely group disbanded in 2001, but I'm so glad of the internet, for I have found them at last. This is haunting and lovely. Apparently, there is currently a UK band called Hungry Ghosts, and they are different from this one.

Very nice, like a super-slow tango, or something. Charming.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

New favorite toy/ pupdate

You see the pink piggy toy, eyes bulging, quaking with fear, futilely trying to scooch itself to safety under the lap throw on the sofa? Alas, poor piggy! It's doomed! Doomed! Doomed, I tell you! No amount of scooching could save piggy from the rapacious maw of Miss Mandible.


Praline chewed piggy for hours and finally decided a game of fetch was what this party needed. She dropped the toy on the sofa by my leg and sat there wearing patience like a statue until I noticed my wee hairy obsessive one sitting, staring at me and awaiting my pitch of the beloved object. This happened over and over, and I would realize she'd been waiting patiently and silently for no-telling-how-long, as I watched a film on the DVD. This one could give seminars on focus.

I will say this piggy gets major points for staying power. Mumsy's little FurGirlie is a ferocious toy de-squeaker(sometimes only taking a minute or two to disembowel a toy), and she has had this toy for over 10 hours without putting the kibosh on the squeak. I chalk this up to the thickness of the hard rubber on the toy-- it actually takes a huge effort for her to squeeze hard enough to make it squeak. Now, it did have two little appendage ears, but we snipped those off when it looked like she was going to eat them, and she's been obsessing over piggy ever since. She finally wore herself out and is passed out in her kennel cab with piggy.

We'll see how much longer this lasts, but it's already a record-breaker, methinks. More pupdates to follow.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A few hours ago...

my sister sent me a text telling me to go to Netflix and watch Mary and Max immediately. I absolutely loved it. Very sweet. Not for kids, though.

Douchebaggery 101

There's a guy who's apparently a famous football player anmed Deion Sanders who announced his divorce online. Problem with that was, well, he hadn't bothered to inform his wife of 12 years in advance of that announcement, and she was, well, surprised.

I don't need to add anything to that at all, do I?

Let's see if there is hue and cry about this, hmm? Surely this is more of an outrage than some guy kneeling when he's scored a touchdown, right?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Shamelessly purloined...

...from Bayou Renaissance Man, comes this exquisite, haunting Macedonian melody, performed by two cellists on one cello.


A sweet song about time with family at Christmas

He sings to his jet-lagged baby girl (he and his family live in London but hail from Australia) that she'll won't understand, but with the family she'll be handed round like a puppy at a primary school, and she'll come to understand one day that these are the people who make her feel safe.

This song is incredibly sweet and still manages to be funny occasionally. If your parents did it right, you'll be yearning to spend Christmas with them. My parents did it right, and I had a lovely time with Mom and Dad. I hope your Christmas was as warm and happy as mine was. :)

Amazing Roman aqueducts

Have you looked a photos of ancient Roman aqueducts still standing around the planet? A few are even still functional, after 2000 years, including at least one in Rome itself. Impressive.

Here's a great site that shows examples called Bridges that Babble, and features 15 amazing Roman aquefers. The scale of the architecture is breathtaking, and the skill of the craftsmen who built these water delivery systems is nothing short of exquisite.

I also found this one online at Nerja, on the Southern coast of Spain.

Monday, December 26, 2011

A scene from Greater Redneckia

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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas From The Family

This one is endlessly mesmerizing to me.

Feliz Navidad!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Pup o the mornin' to ya!

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A proper bath.

It seems for weeks and weeks there's been sore little time to really relax. I've been involved in rehearsals or making jam or doing Christmas-related things or trying to get things more organized and I just realized Thursday that it's been absolute ages since I've had a bath rather than the usual shower.

In fact, recently in a store, I took a chance on a little box of bath melts. I was not familiar with the brand, Heyland and Whittle, and I really didn't know the contents of the melts, but the packaging looked quite refined and the fragrance of the contents seemed sweet and heady, so I indulged and sprang the dough. In truth, I spent over an hour worth of pay on this box, so I figured this had better be amazing stuff. Looking at their website now, I see the box of bath melts was comprised of skin-loving shea butter and I paid about half the UK retail value. Not only am I proud of myself for my little splurge, I'm vowing to go back and buy up the lot of what is left in the store. They are that good. I officially have a new love in the bathtub. The English know herbs, and it's no surprise that some of the most scrumptious bath products hail from there. (think Lush and Crabtree & Evelyn).

About Thursday night - I managed to get out of work about 30 minutes early and I tottered off to town. Hit Sam's for some goat cheese (which I love on greens instead of salad dressing) and then a swing by a salon where I allowed myself to be talked into a pedicure. Then back home, managed to have an indulgent evening despite getting some laundry done. Bowl of pasta with pesto and goat cheese on the sofa with the puppies and the latest version of Jane Eyre running and a not-bad(believe it or not) screw-top bottle of Spanish plonk, then it was on to the bathtub to try out the new bathmelts. I expected fizz, but it only melted and made my skin feel softer and smoother. Nice! I used the marigold, btw, and it's shocking how glorious it smells, considering I've always found marigolds to be on the stinky side. :P

So there I was, enveloped in all that lovely fragrant warmth, and occasionally puppies peeked over the side of the tub to give me quick little kisses. It was quite restorative. I feel so much better. I do love the claw-foot bathtub, but I have to say that looking up at the ceiling, its relief burnished with the glow of a candle, I was very happy with my selection of house in general, for all its shortcomings, and it felt very good to have earned a nice bath.

Now into the wild rush of the holiday weekend. I hope you, too, can find a moment for yourself to throw on the breaks and savor something nice all by yourself. Life is sweet.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Why is there a permanent dimple in my leather recliner?


Somehow, I just can't muster madness at that sweet little face. As long as she doesn't chew shoes or holsters, she's pretty much got carte blanche.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Dragon Leatherworks: A very nice holster for a very special gun

My carry gun in recent years has been an Airweight J frame, but in recent times I've wanted to explore upping the firepower of what I'm carrying. Himself gallantly bequeathed me the gun that killed Santa Claus, and the search was on for a suitable holster for same. Having long admired the look of Dennis Badurina's holsters over at Dragon Leatherworks, I was thrilled to acquire a quite smart-looking Flatjack with gorgeous stingray hide inset detail.

I don't claim to be any kind of gun expert. Though I love to shoot, I don't shoot nearly so often as I would prefer. I'm just a regular, rapidly-hurtling-into-middle-age woman with tastes related to comfort as well as style and sheer functionality. I'm short but I'm not tiny, and though I do have an approximation of a waistline, I have a junky trunk and angular things don't tend to fit well on my person. Generally, I've carried the J frame in an inner pocket of my handbag, but I feel like my posture is being affected by that carrying method. A couple of pounds wouldn't seem like they'd make that much difference, but they really have. The J frame seems sticky-outie in that small holster when on my belt, and was bad to catch on clothing due to the angle. Other methods for carrying the J frame are in the offing, but that will be talk for another time.

The Dragon Leatherworks holster arrived much sooner than I expected it, and it was visually and tactilely pleasing. The craftsmanship is quite well-executed, and the color options make for increased potential to put your personal touch on what you are wearing. I can't say enough how beautiful the stingray hide is. If I could, I'd cover a wall in the stuff-- it's that neat, and it seems far more durable than I would have imagined it to be. I also take the pretty underwear approach to holster aesthetics: though I would not show all and sundry the very pretty bra I'm wearing, I like knowing it's there. Same thing with my holster-- I pray there's never need for anyone around me in a non-sport-shooting setting to know that I'm even carrying, but I like knowing that the holster is something in keeping with my own style. To this end, the flatjack is very satisfying.

As for functionality, as you see in the photo above, the Flatjack sits nicely against my round hip, and yet the butt of the pistol does not cant out at an angle that would grab excessively on other things. In this photo, I have a long sweater pulled up to reveal the gun, but I can actually wear that sweater down over this pistol/holster combination without printing.

The pistol fits smoothly and snugly into the holster, but I also don't have to struggle to pull it out.

The best thing I can say about this holster comfort-wise is that I don't notice it being in the way or uncomfortable. I have started to notice not having an ache between my shoulder blades due to a heavy handbag, and I don't seem to have any ill physical effects from the weight being held snugly against my person. Neither the pistol nor the holster dig into my ribs or my side or my hip, which was something I worried would happen with my short waist and this larger gun.

I think this design and model of holster is an excellent value, and I hope Dennis has a long and distinguished career in this art. I definitely plan to buy his holsters for more of my pistols in future.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I've always admired the penetrating intellect and startling wit of Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens has died and I want to link here what I posted in Spring of 2007.
I highly recommend this clear-thinking article by Christopher Hitchens:
She's No Fundamentalist - What people get wrong about Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

There, Christopher Hitchens calls media pundits on the carpet for mis-characterizing Ayaan by calling her a "fundamentalist" and dismissing her views as "absolutist."
What was she thinking, that uppity woman, to shoot her mouth off about Islam? Doesn't she know we're all supposed to be towing (or toeing?) the politically correct party line? We can't afford to piss anyone off - shhhh! - they might bomb us.
Here are some great links & blog posts from Zelda at Sleeping Ugly about Ayaan and what she's been going through in recent years. Zelda's first post in that grouping features a link to a clip of Bill Maher's show on which Ayaan makes minced meat of the empty-headed windbags on the panel, including Maher. Her elegant, directly stated observation is the ultimate soft answer which turns away wrath, and impossible to refute.
What I'm wondering is if Islam is the religion of peace, as so many of its clueless defenders in the self-loathing Western media claim (indeed, they are so Godless that they admire anyone who can muster fervent belief in anything -- with the exception, of course, of Christianity), then where are the men of Arab and/or Muslim origin who are standing up to this fundamentalism which nakedly aspires to dismantle Western civilization? Where are all these supposed Muslims who are opposed to fundamentalist agression? Either they are cowardly, or they do not exist.

Yet one mere woman dares to raise her voice in opposition to the culture of violence and oppression to which she was born. It's nice to know someone has the cojones to call a dog a dog, even if that someone is female-- someone has to be one of the first to scramble over the barricade.

Thank God for uppity women.

Thanks too, to Christopher for all the energy and thought-provoking observations he brought to every argument. He will be missed.

Monday, December 19, 2011

South Park creators won't have Kim Jong Il to kick around any more

Then again, sometimes a dead horse wants more beating, so I hope they keep it up.

I give you Big Dwarf Rodeo from Reverend Horton Heat's 1991 Smoke 'em If You Got 'em.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunday, Puppy Sunday: morning glories

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

At karaoke [insert operatic laugh]

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sorry for the minimal posting of late.

There's not been a lack of inspiration of late, but a lack of time to document same. Not doing a Christmas tree this year-- alas-- but I did decorate the exterior of the house for a change, and I'll try to get a picture up soon. Work has been very busy with two interviews for promotions (didn't land the assignments, but at least I do get to continue to work from home with the puppies nearby for the foreseeable future) and the usual shopping scramble one expects this time of year. I've got baking to do and cranapeno jam to make, so I expect I'll be a busy bee for the next week. To make matters worse, I've tried to post occasionally on the fly from my iPhone, and the darned thing has been failing to upload the posts. Meh. As if I wasn't busy enough already, I've applied for a local State university, and pending their receipt of transcripts from all my other schools including the community college I attended in Spring, I hope to be enrolled in one or two classes for the coming semester. Wish me luck on that one.

I've bought some new furniture and shelving recently and I'm trying to get the house more organized, but the net effect is that it looks more like a tornado hit the place. Darkest just before dawn, eh? At least I have a lower bed now and I will worry less about Chuy and Praline doing long-term damage to their joints and spines with the leap onto/off of the bed. Plus now I don't have to climb up, either. Everybody wins, on that one. :)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Is this a feature or a flaw?

I must seem incredibly accessible to total strangers, because it's startling the wide range of random crap people say to me in stores. Recently I was in big home improvement store in the paint department and a lady walked up to the counter with a fistful of paint chips and started raving about how perfect my scarf was with my hair and coloring, etc, and then she remarked upon my nail polish and she apologized for her hands- said she kept beating them up and I said that in a few days I'd be painting and mine would be all to' up as well. My paint freshly mixed, I said "bye" and walked on.

I went over to the light fixtures and got a new one for the bathroom, then moseyed over to light bulbs and then to the checkout stand. I was facing the checkout, waiting for the guy in front of me to finish, and I noticed paint chip lady was standing there, kind of in my personal space. If I was facing 12 o'clock, she was at about 3:30, and verrrrry close. I turned and smiled at her and she looked startled and said "I'm not trying to buggy-f**k ya."

Wot? omg. It was especially odd because she didn't even have a buggy.

This utterance made it my turn to look startled, then she started prattling about having lived in Germany for a long time and how those Germans just love to buggy-f**k ya even when you can't possibly move forward at all, and she would never be doing that to me because she hates having that done to her. I smiled and said "It's okay. I wouldn't let you if you wanted to."

How strange is that, though? I mean, have you ever even heard of "buggy-f**king" and if so, how long has this been going on?

Just when I think I've heard it all...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


I love Axe Cop!

And I'm so having Portal Gun envy. Just dial where you want to go, and shoot out a portal!

Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

Now! MOAR exclamation pointses!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Join the ranks of the young and exotic.

or not. Or just listen to this groovy holiday track from Combustible Edison.

Monday, December 12, 2011

10:03 and I'm in bed early for a change

It's not just getting ready for the holidays and all that-- I've been incredibly busy in and out of work. There's a seasonal surge in my industry around the holidays so I've been working overtime quite a few days lately.

I had a bad day at work last Tuesday, and I applied for a state university in the area that day. I've gotta get my transcripts ordered from all other school and then I'll at least be back on the slow boat to china with regards to my education.

I interviewed for a position a couple weeks ago and knew I wasn't a fit for the posting even before the interview. This really took the pressure off, and I hope I was able to make a favorable impression on a neat new boss lady. But if I never get promoted, I stay homE with my pups, right???

I'm not seeing a down-side.

I'll try to post more, m'dears.

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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sunday Puppy Sunday: a good investment

The house is toasty warm with all the new insulation in the attic and the new windows, but the floor is still a bit chilly. When the weather started getting colder, Chuy wanted to spend the whole day on my lap, and that's not conducive to me getting work done, so last week I purchased a heated pet bed for them, and they like it a whole whole bunch. :) And on my lap or not, they remain my teeny tiny toasties.

Ivan probably blame this on my iPhone, but...

[thank you, auto-blood-correct on my iphone -- subject line was meant to be "i can probobably", not "ivan probably"]
I'm having a bear of a time updating my blog, of late. I've been dizzyingly busy in a good way, and the phone updates I've attempted to post have failed more than half the time. This time, I'm trying to post with no photos, and hopefully that will make the difference. I hope you are all having a grand holiday season with your dear ones. I'm cherishing every moment with my sweet puppydogs. Cheers to you all, and I'll post at greater length very soon.

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Friday, December 09, 2011

Scrooge up your courage.

In and out of stores lately I've heard enough jingle music to choke a barge brim-full of goats. It was therefore refreshing that when I went into Tuesday Morning several days back I heard that gloriously composed and quirky song Lush Life, a nice version of which evades me on Yootoob, and I'll therefore not post it here. Lush Life is a beautiful but sad song, and, frankly, depressing. It was such a downer of a contrast from the shoulder sagging weight of the usual high-test Christmas vivarin-laced cheer that it made me feel oddly peppy and happy.

I'm not feeling grumpy, but I'm kind of tired of all the pop tart noodling, them hosing up the Christmas standards they way the intercourse up the National Anthem before games of every stripe.

Nope. Not gonna do grumpy, but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate some vicarious grumping. Here's Miles Davis' Blue Christmas. You'll recognize the vocalist Bob Dorough (Multiplication Rock) from some of the Schoolhouse rock songs. Good stuff! Also known as Blue Xmas, I think?

Thursday, December 08, 2011

The astonishing musical stylings of Jeff Buckley

Remarkable vocalist, extraordinarily gifted guitarist, lost too soon.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

My thoughts are with FarmFamily today

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Tuesday, December 06, 2011

A quick glimpse at some wonderful glassworking by William Gudenrath

A superlative day with a fragrant ending...

I'm working on this customer. I normally will spend my day on the phone with possibly a couple dozen customers. Monday I spent about 4 hours making calls to vendors, internal calls, trying to resolve issues for this one lady who is a cornucopia of neuroses and, uh, special circumstances. I hate this and I love it. The people who are negative vortices of energy are the biggest triumph when you ride them out and make them fans anyway, and that's always my goal-- show them they can't wear me down and that I'm going to surpass their expectations no matter how committed they are to their disappointments and failures. I feel I turned the corner with her and it's all going to be okay. And then, if against all reason, they are still disappointed at the end of the day, I can reasonably conclude they are clearly insane not to fall utterly in love with me and I move on with my life and to hopefully help someone more deserving of my exceptional attention to service.

After two months of generally feeling sick and crappy, the last week I've been feeling healthy again. I feel [touch wood] that exercising won't put me into a pneumonia-vulnerable state any more, so I only worked an hour late Monday. After work, I showered with a lovely lavender soap and went to yoga for the first time in over 2 months, hair swept up in a long ponytail. It felt amazing and I loved the smell of the soap and the fresh workout gear. I arrived at this class, and classical music was playing as the teacher put us through a slow-flow fusion of yoga styles. The studio was nearly dark, with a couple of indirect soft lights, and there was a nice scent-- vetiver or somesuch. Some poses were utterly unfamiliar, and some were glove-fit-perfection, and the first half hour was pretty rigorous, but by the end, laying in corpse pose felt like a great reward, eyes closed. The instructor put a cloth over my eyes and a nice lavender sachet on top of that. The scent was heady and relaxing.

Driving home afterward, feeling turbo-chilled and like nothing but nothing could possibly harsh my mellow, the path curved around when too late my headlamps illuminated the roadway ahead leaving void a distinctive wodge of negative space waddling into the roadway, white stripe cleaving its middle like a belligerent middle-finger waggling the threat of olfactory horrors my way. Whoopsie. Having swerved over as far right as I might without leaving the roadway, my left front tire still managed to squish the varmint soundly and I was in paroxysms of squick as I drove the rest of the way home, suddenly unmellowed to a profound degree. Went to the little supermarket in my town and noticed the folks seemed -- something-- odd-- I didn't think about it too much. I approached the cashier and she smiled then her face clouded as I drew near. I suddenly fancied I smelled something undesirable and blurted "do you smell skunk?" and she seemed not to want to say so, kind of screwed up her face and said, meekly, "kinda."

I stink of skunk. Goody.

I got home and the pups seemed to think I smelled interesting. Too interesting. Clothing got bunged in the washer and I gave meself a proper scrubbing and hair-washing. *shudder*

Later, dear friend Daniel came by in his luxurious new sedan and took me for a ride around the block. I asked if he smelled skunk. He said he didn't but then again, he'd just run over one about 20 minutes earlier that had recently been killed. What are the odds that your friend in a new car will run over the skunk you just killed? Anyway, I suppose if you're going to have friends, it's nice if you're all inured to the same kind of stink, innit?

Monday, December 05, 2011


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View from my office.

I let teh puppehs out about 4:00am and it was 37 degrees and no snow. Awoke 3 hours later to a blanket of white. :)

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Sunday, December 04, 2011

A Grand Lady has passed away.

The past few Fall seasons, the kind and generous FarmFamily has hosted a gathering for shooting and fellowship, and I've been honored to be included among the guests. Always, we have been welcomed into the home of the lovely and lively Mamaw. Mere months after the gathering last year, she was diagnosed with a very agressive form of cancer. I've been in touch most closely with FarmMom and she's kept me updated on Mamaw. When I saw her in October, I thought she looked quite peachy considering what she had been through. The most telling signs of her ordeal was a troublesome cough and baldness I'd not thought to expect, nor to ask FarmMom about. Amazingly, Mamaw wore baldness with an adorable frankness that showed what a plucky and fearless woman she really was. Friday her struggle came to an end. I'm honored to have known her for these past few years-- a time all too brief-- and I pray the FarmFamily is much comforted by the warm memories of her courageous spirit and deep well of strength. I know one reason they are such remarkable people is because they were born of women like Mamaw. May she rest in peace, and may all who grieve her be comforted.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Sitting in rehearsal Thursday night...

I sat next to an older woman, and she and I pretty much amused ourselves the whole time. The group consisted of about 40 or so people, and it was a very chaotic practice session. She and I quipped and twittered sotto voce until the chorus director finally called for a break about 3/4 of the way through the ordeal. I wandered off to the loo and came back and sat beside her and she said "what is your name?" I told her my name, and she gasped, grinned and nodded as if she knew something about me that I didn't know my ownself. She proceeded to tell me that for 21 years of military service, when she went out to kick up her heels and whoop it up, if someone asked her name, she'd say "My name is Rita" and generally operated on the premise that someone with such a naughty name should be forgiven pretty much anything. The previous time I've heard a story like this was when a fabulous woman told me her shopping persona (with very expensive taste) was named Rita.

I like these stories. I'm sticking to them. Or they are sticking to me.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

You can't handle teh Kewt!

Excuse messy house. Teh Kewt trumps messy.

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**looking at this later, I'm enjoying the redneckery of the tennis-racket shaped handheld bug zapper on the coffee table.